March is kind of the month of NBA regret.
You see, in November and December, you tell yourself the season just started. You don’t know anything at that point. In January and February, you tell yourself the season’s only halfway done. There’s still half the season to go. There’s always time to get healthy, to fix problems, to get some good wins, to gain some ground, to build a buffer.
But the calendar turns abruptly after the All-Star Break. Now all of a sudden there are six weeks left in the season. All the opportunities teams squandered earlier in the season — and every team squanders some — come back to bite them.
What if the Warriors hadn’t lost to the Lakers on the back to back? Or held onto their 24-point lead vs. Memphis? Kevin Durant’s injury might legitimately not matter in their battle for the No. 1 seed. If the Grizzlies hadn’t lost to so many sub-.500 teams, they’re probably a lock for a top-four seed.